While the successful athletes at Jakarta Palembang 2018 have legitimate reasons to aim for Olympic medals, those who failed to live up to expectations in Indonesia are hoping to make amends in Tokyo.
At the 18th Asiad, the Kingdom won 11 gold medals, well below their pre-tournament target of 17, and were 12th overall, also missing their aim of a top-six finish.
At Incheon 2014, Thailand claimed 12 titles and finished sixth overall.
It was athletes in non-Olympic sports who played key roles in salvaging some pride for the Thai contingent in Indonesia.
The Kingdom claimed a total of seven gold medals in non-Olympic disciplines – four in sepak takraw, two in paragliding and one in jet skiing.
The other titles were won in Olympic sports – taekwondo (two), shooting (one) and cycling (one).
One of the two taekwondo gold medals came in poomsae (dance) which does not feature at the Olympics.
In all, only three Thai athletes won golds in Olympic sports – taekwondo figther Panipak Wongpattanakit, skeet shooter Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit and cyclist Jai Angsuthasawit.
China topped the medals table for the 10th Games in succession, a streak stretching back to New Delhi 1982, with a runaway 132 golds while Japan secured a confidence-boosting second place with 75 ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which begin in less than two years.
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